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68% Indians want service charge to be optional: Survey



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New Delhi, Jan 11

Sixty-eight per cent of respondents in a country-wide survey, say the service charge levied by hotels and restaurants should be optional, while 27 per cent opposed it.

Five per cent of the 26,000 respondents did not respond in the survey by LocalCircles citizen engagement platform.

Where 61 per cent supported the changing the name of service charge to service tip, 33 per cent did not agree to this and 6 per cent did not comment.

The survey also found that 68 per cent people were willing to pay a tip for good service if it goes to the restaurant staff, 26 per cent were not willing to pay the tip, while 6 per cent chose can’t say as their answer.

This implies that a majority of people are in favour of paying tips.

This exercise was conducted after the Ministry of Consumer Affairs issued a notification on Jan 2 stating that the service charge is completely discretionary and a customer, dissatisfied with the dining experience, can have it waived off.

Almost 42 per cent of respondents believed that the service charge goes to the management, 26 per cent felt that some part of it was shared with the staff, while only 5 per cent of consumers believed that the whole of it was shared by the staff.

This means that distrust with the collection and utilisation of this charge is very high among consumers.

The rationale offered by restaurants for levying a compulsory service charge on all consumers is that it ensures tips to their serving staff.

People were also asked if they wanted the whole of the service cost to be incorporated in the main bill and wanted the tip to be made a completely voluntary thing. To this, 59 per cent said yes, while 37 per cent said no and 4 per cent were non-committal.




10% hike in placements at IIT Delhi



New Delhi, Dec 13: In comparison to last year, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi witnessed an increase of 10 per cent in the number of placements offered to students this season so far, the institute said on Wednesday.

Till the 10th day of the ongoing placement exercise which began on December 2,  the institute registered a 10 per cent rise in the overall jobs offered to students across streams, while for the Post Graduate (PG) students this increase was 17 per cent against last year.

“While the overall placements have been better than last year, recruitment trends of PG students is very encouraging for the future of engineering research in the country,” news agency IANS quoted, I.N. Kar, Professor-in-charge of Training and Placement at IIT Delhi, wrote in a statement.

“I am hopeful that the overall percentage increase in the recruitment of both UG (Under Graduate) and PG students will improve further”, Kar added.

The score is likely to climb up by the end of this phase of the placement season on December 15. The next phase will commence in January next year.


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Deadline to link Aadhaar with bank accounts extended till March 31




New Delhi, Dec 13: The deadline to link the Aadhaar number with bank accounts has been extended by three months till March 31, the government announced on Wednesday, as the Supreme Court is set to commence hearing from Thursday on its mandatory linking to various schemes.

The deadline was earlier December 31 for linking the 12-digit unique identification number with both Permanent Account Number (PAN) and bank accounts. However, the government extended the deadline last week for linking it with PAN till March 31.

A notification to link it with bank accounts was later issued on Tuesday by the Department of Revenue under the Finance Ministry. The notification, however, did not mention the new deadline, leaving it open-ended.

The government later issued a press release which contained the deadline of March 31.

According to the December 12 notification, the words “submit the Aadhaar number and PAN by December 31, 2017” have been substituted by “submit the Aadhaar number, PAN or Form No 60 by such date as may be notified by the Central government”.

The release said under the provisions of Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017, it was provided that if a client already having a bank account or any other account-based relationship with reporting entities prior to date of this notification fails to submit the Aadhaar number and PAN by December 31, “the said account shall cease to be operational till the time the Aadhaar number and PAN is submitted by the client”.

In case of a person opening a new account, the deadline for submitting Aadhaar number and PAN was “six months from the date of the commencement of the account based relationship”.

“After considering various representations received in this regard and inputs received from banks, it has been decided to notify March 31, 2018 or six months from the date of commencement of account based relationship by the client, whichever is later, as the date of submission of the Aadhaar number, and Permanent Account Number or Form 60 by the clients to the reporting entity,” the statement said.


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J&K: Army team deployed to trace army jawans missing after LoC avalanche




Srinagar, Dec 13: The Army on Wednesday deployed a team from the High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) to trace five soldiers went missing after a snow avalanche hit Mani Post Bagtor Gurez sector of LoC in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bandipora district.

The HAWS team from Sonamarg was deployed at the spot on the Line of Control (LoC) in Bandipora district following the avalanche on Tuesday morning, news agency IANS quoted citing Defence Ministry sources was saying.

HAWS is the Army’s training camp for special search operations in very high altitudes, glaciated, and snow-bound areas.


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